Chicago area celebrates St. Patrick's Day with music, dancing, parades

ByJohn Garcia and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Chicago celebrates St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day events across the Chicago area celebrated the Irish holiday, including at Willis Tower and a parade in Crown Point, Indiana..

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are lots of places and events across the Chicago area to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Friday.

There were already long lines outside Irish pubs in the city and suburbs before noon Friday. One group of besties has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day together for decades, and say there's no better place than Chicago for it.

"Been friends almost 40 years and so we're celebrating today because we can and we're in Chicago cuz it's the greatest city in North America," said Kim Murphy.

Mike Callahan broke out his kilt for the occasion.

"Only for special occasions like St. Patrick's Day and my daughter's wedding," he said.

Staff at the Emerald Loop said this the second busiest day of their year after the day of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade.

This is the second holiday weekend for businesses.

"It's a bonus. We get two St. Patrick's Days basically, which is good coming out of a couple of rough years in our business," said Peter Stark, managing partner of O'Callaghan's.

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But since it also falls on a Friday during Lent, it poses a dilemma for Catholics who traditionally give up meat on Fridays. The Archdiocese of Chicago is not granting dispensation for parishioners who wish to eat corned beef Friday. However, the Archdiocese is granting an exception.

It says Catholics who find themselves at an event where meat is served in celebrating St. Patrick may in good conscience indulge if they practice another form of penance or significant act of charity that benefits the poor.

"You can, in good conscience switch your penance to sacrifice something else dear to you," said Loyola University Theology Professor Michael Murphy.

Colleen Callahan will skip the meat in favor of fish on Friday, but she's not giving up the green beer.

"Got my fish-n-chips. Have to have the corned beef on Sunday," she said.

The Shannon Rovers performed at the Irish American Heritage Center.

The Trinity Irish dancers performed at the Willis Tower Sky Deck, along with Joe the Bagpiper.

The Trinity Irish Dancers performed at the Willis Tower SkyDeck on St. Patricks Day.

Crown Point, Indiana is holding its St. Patrick's Day parade Friday night. It kicks off at dusk, on Main Street. It features floats covered in lights, as well as bagpipers and Irish dancers.

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Celebrate with a laugh at "The Den" in Wicker Park where Irish stand-up comedians will hit the stage for three performances of "Shamrock Shenanigans" Friday night.